Welcome to Rajasthan Tourism
Planned by Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, Jaipur holds the distinction of being the first planned city of India. Renowned globally for its coloured gems, the capital city of Rajasthan combines the allure of its ancient history with all the advantages of a metropolis. The bustling modern city is one of the three corners of the golden triangle that includes Delhi, Agra and Jaipur.
The story goes that in 1876, the Prince of Wales visited India on a tour. Since the colour pink was symbolic of hospitality, Maharaja Ram Singh of Jaipur painted the entire city pink. The pink that colours the city makes for a marvellous spectacle to behold. Jaipur rises up majestically against the backdrop of the forts Nahargarh, Jaigarh and Garh Ganesh Temple.
Jaipur traces back its origins to 1727 when it was established by Jai Singh II, the Raja of Amber. He shifted his capital from Amber to the new city because of the rapidly-growing population and an increasing water scarcity. Noted architect Vidyadhar Bhattacharya used the established principles of Vastu Shastra to build the city.
Be a part of the festivities and traditions that Jaipur has to offer. It’s always a celebration in Rajasthan
The Kite Festival is a bright celebration unique to Rajasthan. This festival is a wonderful spectacle as kites take to the sky all across the state. While one can enjoy colourful kites in a variety of shapes and sizes, the celebration looks truly spectacular in the evening, when fireworks alongside kites with lights in them, brighten the city’s skyline. Celebrated across the state of Rajasthan, the festivities peak in Jaipur. If you enjoy kite flying, you should visit the city on or around 14th January of any year. On this occassion, the Department of Tourism organizes a festival where tourists can enjoy kite flying along with various cultural performances.
Gangaur is one of the most important festivals in Rajasthan. In some form or the other, it is celebrated all over Rajasthan. “Gan” is a synonym for Lord Shiva & “Gauri” or “Gaur” stands for Goddess Parvati, the heavenly consort of Lord Shiva. Gangaur celebrates the union of the two and is a symbol of conjugal & marital happiness. Gangaur is celebrated in the month of Chaitra (March-April), the first month of the Hindu calendar. This month marks the end of winter & the onset of spring. This festival is celebrated especially by women, who worship clay idols of “Gan” & “Gauri” in their houses. These idols are worshipped by unmarried girls who seek the blessings of Gan & Gauri for a good husband, while the married women pray for the good health and long life of their husbands. This worship which starts from the first day of the chaitra month culminates on the 18th day into Gangaur festival with a great religious fervor. On the eve of Gangaur festival, women decorate their palms and fingers with henna. The idols of Gan and Gauri are immersed in a pond or in a nearby lake on the last day of the festival. A traditional procession of Gangaur commences form the Zanani-Deodhi of the City Palace, passing through Tripolia Bazaar, Chhoti Chaupar, Gangauri Bazaar, Chaugan stadium and finally converges near the Talkatora. The procession is headed by a colorful pageantry of old palanquins, chariots, bullock carts and performing folk artists.
Teej refers to all the monsoon festivals observed particularly in the western and northern states of India. The festivals celebrate the bounty of nature, arrival of the monsoon, greenery and birds with social activities, rituals & customs. The festival is mainly for women, and includes dancing, singing, getting together with friends and narrating stories, applying henna on hands and feet, wearing brightly coloured lehariya saris, sharing festive foods and playing under trees on swings on Haryali Teej. The festivals are dedicated, in many parts of India, to Goddess Parvati, also known as Teej Mata. Women pray to the goddess seeking the wellness of their husband. On this occassion, a royal procession of Goddess Teej comprising of camels, dancing folk artists, royal palanquins, chariots and bullock carts, starts from the City Palace, winding its way through Tripolia Bazaar and Chhoti Chaupar on both days. The traditional sweet Ghewar is closely associated with the festival and enjoyed heartily over its duration. Know more
Dhulandi Festival (Festival of Colours) is celebrated all over India a day after Holika Dahan and marks the beginning of spring. On this day, young and old alike play with colours and water, and the celebrations can last for the better part of the day. The festival is celebrated in a very special way in Jaipur, where the Department of Tourism organizes an event meant especially for foreign tourists. The event is held on the lawns of the Khasa Kothi hotel and visitors to the event can have a grand time playing with dry colours while dancing to Rajasthani folk music performed by local artists. Come envelop yourself in the colours of spring! Witness stunning cultural performances by folk artists.
Come explore the wonders and sites that Jaipur has to offer. There’s always something to see in Rajasthan.
Amber (pronounced Amer) is at a distance of about 11 kilometres from Jaipur. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was the bastion of the Kachwahas of Amber, until the capital was moved to the plains, to what is today Jaipur. The palace, located in craggy hills, is a beautiful melange of Hindu and Mughal styles. Raja Man Singh I began construction in 1592 and the palace, which was built as a strong, safe haven against attacking enemies, was completed by Mirja Raja Jai Singh. The contrast between the harsh exterior and the inviting interior couldn’t be more surprising. Made entirely of red sandstone and white marble, visitors are left spellbound by the magnificence of the palace that utilises carvings, precious stones and mirrors. The splendour of the palace is enhanced by the breath-taking vista of the Maota Lake in front. The palace is nearly seven centuries old and has a legendary past. Originally a small structure that the Rajputs won from the Meena tribes, it was later transformed into the grand Amber Palace.
Note: Amber Fort will not be open for tourists on 18th November'17
Located deep within the walled city, the City Palace Complex was conceived and built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur. A beautiful fusion of Mughal and Rajput architecture, the palace is still home to the last ruling royal family which lives in a private section of the palace. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II is credited with building most of the structures, but it was expanded upon by later rulers as well. The City Palace Complex includes the Mubarak Mahal (the palace of reception) and the Maharani’s Palace (the palace of the queen). Mubarak Mahal now houses the Maharaja Sawai Man Singh II Museum and displays a vast and unique collection of royal costumes, delicate Pashmina (Kashmiri) shawls, Benaras silk saris, and other dresses with Sanganeri prints and folk embroidery. The clothes of Maharaja Sawai Madho Singh I are also on display. The Maharani's Palace, surprisingly, has an interesting display of very well-preserved Rajput weaponry, some dating back to the 15th century. Other than the arms, the palace is adorned with beautiful paintings on the ceiling that are well-maintained.Explore
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Jantar Mantar in Jaipur is considered to be the largest of the five astronomical observatories built by Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur. It contains sixteen geometric devices, designed to measure time, track celestial bodies and observe the orbits of the planets around the sun. It also houses the Interpretation Centre that helps the tourists to understand about the working principles & chronolgy of the observatory.
Hawa Mahal, literally the Palace of Winds, was built in 1799 by the poet king Sawai Pratap Singh as a summer retreat for him and his family. It also served as a place where the ladies of the royal household could observe everyday life without being seen themselves. This unique five-storey structure is a blend of Hindu and Islamic architecture, and the exterior, with its small latticed windows (called jharokhas), resembles the crown of Lord Krishna. The windows also serve as an air-conditioner of sorts, blowing cool air throughout the palace, making it the perfect retreat during summers. Built from pink sandstone, the Hawa Mahal is Jaipur’s iconic landmark and visitors can view its complete magnificence from outside, from across the road. However, it is also possible to climb right up to the top for a wonderful view from the windows. Today, the Mahal is maintained by the Archaeological Department of the Government of Rajasthan and also houses an archaeological museum in the courtyard.Explore
The building gets its name from The Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the inspiration for its design. The exquisitely built Albert Hall is housed in the centre of Ram Niwas Garden. Sir Swinton Jacob (who is also the mastermind behind many other palaces in Rajasthan) conceptualised and designed it using styles from the Indo-Sarcenic architecture and the Prince of Wales laid the foundation stone of the building in 1876. The museum displays a wide range of metal objects, wood crafts, carpets, stone and metal sculptures, arms and weapons, natural stones and ivory goods. It also houses a large collection of miniatures from Bundi, Kota, Kishangarh, Udaipur and Jaipur schools of art.
Nahargarh Fort sits proudly on a ridge of the Aravalli Hills, creating an impressive northern backdrop to the city of Jaipur. It was constructed during the reign of Jai Singh in 1734, and was later expanded in 1868. Nahargarh, which means abode of tigers, was a formidable barrier, defending Jaipur against attacking enemies. Within its walls, the fort houses Madhavendra Bhawan, the summer destination for the members of the royal family. Built by Sawai Madho Singh, the palace has 12 matching boudoirs for the queens, at the head of which is a suite for the king. They are all connected by corridors decorated with delicate murals. Even today the palace is a favoured spot for local picnickers. The fort looks brilliant when floodlit at night. Overlooking the city, it presents a glittering view of the city lights.Explore
About 15 kilometres from Jaipur, Jaigarh Fort was built by Sawai Jai Singh II sometime in the early 18th century amidst the arid, rocky and thorn-scrub covered hills. Despite its ancient construction, it still retains most of its imposing citadel appearance. Visitors can see the world’s largest cannon – Jaiban, at the fort.
The Lakshmi-Narayan Temple, or the Birla Temple, as it is more popularly known as, is located at the base of Moti Dungari. Built on an elevated platform, this comparatively modern temple is built entirely of white marble and dominates the skyline of south Jaipur. The temple was commissioned and built by renowned Indian industrialists, the Birlas, in 1988. The temple is dedicated to Lord Vishnu, also called Narayan, and his companion, Lakshmi, the Goddess of wealth and good fortune. The temple is a work of art and has a marvellous display of exquisite carvings and sculptures covering many mythological themes. The eye is drawn to the images of Laxmi and Narayan, carved as they are, from one piece of marble. The top of the temple has three domes, each representing the three religions followed in India. This is designed to pay homage to secular India. The temple looks spectacular at night when it is lit up. Other than the main temple, the complex has a museum that exhibits the earlier belongings of the Birla family.Explore
One of the most wonderful sights in Jaipur is the beautiful Jal Mahal or Lake Palace. The light, sand coloured stone walls and the deep blue of the water make for a wonderful contrast. The palace appears to float in the centre of Man Sagar Lake, where its magnificent exteriors can be enjoyed by tourists.
Just off the Jaipur-Amber road is Gaitore, where the former Maharajas of Jaipur are entombed. The chhatris (cenotaphs), made of white marble display the distinctive Rajput style of architecture. The open pavilions with ornate domes are supported by delicately sculpted pillars. The crematorium is located in the middle of yellow sandstone hills. The décor and extravagance of a particular chattri is meant to reflect the stature and prowess of the ruler it contains. The most graceful and beautiful chattri at Gaitor is that of Maharaja Jai Singh with 20 carved pillars. Tourists are especially drawn towards it because of its intricate carvings.
Sisodia Rani Palace and Garden is located 8 kilometres from Jaipur on the Agra road. Laid out in Mughal style, it is painted with the legends of Radha and Krishna. The garden is multi-tiered and has fountains, water courses and painted pavilions. Maharaja Sawai Jai Singh II built it for his Sisodia queen.
Located near Sisodia Garden, this is yet another beautiful garden which is a must-see for visitors. It is named after Vidyadhar Bhattacharya, the Chief Architect of Jaipur.
Central Park is a large green zone right in the centre of Jaipur that offers city dwellers a spot for a moment of respite. Conceptualised and built by the Jaipur Development Authority, it is Jaipur’s largest park. It houses a lush garden, the Polo Ground and a golf club. However, the highlight of the park is India’s first all-day-and-all-night monumental National Flag which also happens to be the country’s tallest flagpole.
At a mere ten-minute walk through the cobbled streets of Amber lies the Anokhi Museum of Hand Printing. Located in a magnificently restored haveli (mansion), the museum displays a varied selection of block-printed textiles alongside images, tools and related objects – all chosen to provide an in-depth look into the complexity of this ancient tradition.
The Krishna temple is a rare spire-less temple and houses the idol of Govind Devji that Sawai Jai Singh brought from Vrindavan. The deity, worshipped by the erstwhile royal family, is also revered by the the locals in the area.
Moti Doongri is a small hill around which the city of Jaipur flourishes. Moti Doongri means pearl hill, because the hill indeed resembles a pearl drop. Visitors go there to pay homage at the famous Ganesh temple, the most auspicious and important religious temple in Jaipur. The Ganesh temple was built by Seth Jai Ram Paliwal, sometime in the early 18th century. A legend goes, the King of Mewar was heading back to his palace after a long journey and was carting a massive Ganesh idol on a bullock cart. The king had decided that he would build a temple for the idol of Lord Ganesh wherever the bullock cart stopped. Apparently the cart stopped at the foot of the Moti Doongri, which is where the temple is situated today. The hill also has an exotic palace perched right on top. A replica of a Scottish castle, it was once the royal home of Maharaja Sawai Man Singh. It continues to belong to the royal family. The mere view of this castle is extremely exotic.Explore
Akshardham Temple at Vaishali Nagar is among the most popular attractions for tourists visiting Jaipur. The temple, dedicated to the god Narayan, is well-known because of the beautiful architecture that includes magnificent idols, lifelike sculptures and intricate carvings.
The ancient Digamber Jain temple at Jaipur is in Sanganer, 14 km from the city. The principal idol in the Sanghiji Temple is of Lord Adinath in the Padmasan (lotus position) posture. The temple is made of red stone and has attractive carvings. The seven-storied temple has sky-high 'shikharas' (spires) and its inner sanctum is a stone shrine with eight sky-high shikharas.
Galtaji is an ancient pilgrimage centre in Jaipur. Set amidst low hills and packed with locals and tourists alike, the attractive spot has temples, pavilions and holy kunds (natural springs and water tanks). Visitors to Galtaji will come across the complex of Ramgopalji temple, locally called the Monkey temple (Galwar Bagh). It gets this moniker because of a large group of resident monkeys. The green landscape and chattering monkeys add to the delight of the area. On top of the hill is a small temple dedicated to the sun god, called the Surya Mandir. Constructed by Diwan Kriparam, the temple can be seen from anywhere in the city.
A life-size white marble statue of Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur, stands tall in the middle of a circle in the C-Scheme area. Erected in his honour, the statue pays homage to the founder of Jaipur.
This historical garden was built by Maharaja Sawai Ram Singh in 1868. Located in the heart of the city, the garden houses the Albert Hall Museum (now known as Central Museum), a bird park, a zoo, the Ravindra Rang Manch theatre, an art gallery and an exhibition ground.
The Zoological Garden or Jaipur Zoo was founded by Sawai Raja Pratap Singh in the year 1868. It is located in Ram Niwas Bagh, within walking distance of the famous Albert Hall.
Located at the foothills of Nahargarh hills on the way to Amber, Kanak Vrindavan is popular among the locals for picnics. The beautifully landscaped garden houses an intricately carved temple, several terrace sites, marble columns and lattices, making it a dream location for film shoots as well.
Ishwar Lat, is a 60 feet high grand minaret in Jaipur. Also called 'Swarg Suli' or 'heaven piercing minaret', this tower near Tripolia Gate was built by Raja Ishwari Singh in 1749 A.D to commemorate a grand victory. Ishwar Lat offers a breath-taking view of Jaipur.
The Amar Jawan Jyoti, or the ‘flame of the immortal soldiers’, is a memorial dedicated to the martyrs of Rajasthan. This memorial is situated near Jaipur’s Vidhan Sabha Bhawan (Legislative Assembly).The key attraction of the Amar Jawan Jyoti is that the torches at the four corners of the structure are always burning. In evenings, this formidable structure is attractively lit up in vivid colours. The brilliant lighting effects make this a picturesque spot a favourite with tourists.
Maharani Ki Chhatri was a special funeral area for women belonging to Jaipur's royal family and is located on the way to Amber fort. This crematorium has several exquisitely carved cenotaphs built to commemorate them. The cenotaphs are either built with marble or the local stones. As a popular belief, a cenotaph was finished with a roof structure only if the queen died before her king. In case she died after the king, it would remain unfinished. One of the significant features of these cenotaphs is the use of chhatri (umbrella), a quintessential architectural style of the Rajputs.
Nahargarh Biological Park, a part of the Nahargarh sanctuary is located about 12 km from Jaipur on the Jaipur-Delhi highway. It encompasses a large area of 720 hectares and is situated under the Aravalli range. The Park is famous for its vast flora and fauna, and its main aim is to conserve it. It also doubles up as a great place to educate people and conduct research on existing flora and fauna. At Nahargarh Biological Park, ornithologists can expect to see over 285 species of birds, of which, the most popular is the white-naped tit, which can only be found here. When you visit the Park, make sure you also head to Ram Sagar, which is a famous among bird watchers and makes for a great spot to catch different varieties of birds. While here, you can stay at well-equipped and famous places such as Ganga Vilas, Gopal Vilas and Lalit Vilas, which were famous with the maharajas of the yore as hunting lodges. The Nahargarh Zoological Park is also worth a visit and houses animals such as Asiatic lions, Bengal tigers, panthers, hyenas, wolves, deer, crocodiles, sloth bear, Himalayan black bear, wild boar, etc. The zoo is open from 15th March – 14th October between 8.30 am to 5.30 pm and from 15th October – 14th March between 9.00 am to 5.00 pm. It is closed on Tuesdays so make sure you plan your visit accordingly. Ticket Cost- Indian visitors: 50/- per person| Foreigner: 300/- per person| Student: 20/- per student| Car/jeep: 300/- per vehicle| Motor cycle: 30/- per vehicle| Auto rickshaw: 60/- per vehicle| Bus: 500/- per vehicle| Camera (Indian): 200/- | Camera (Foreigner): 400/- | Video Camera (Indian): 500/- | Video Camera (Foreigner): 1000/-.Explore
Amidst the confines of the Nahargarh Fort at the foothills of the Aravallis lies the Jaipur wax museum, a visit of which is sure to leave you awe-struck! It has been developed by Entertainment 7 Ventures Pvt Ltd. Hosting over 30 wax statues of famed personalities, the museum is a spectacle to behold! The wax museum, as the name suggests, holds wax statues of many leading personalities such as Amitabh Bachchan, Mahatma Gandhi, Bhagat Singh, Rabindranath Tagore, Albert Einstein, Michael Jackson, Sawai Jai Singh II, Maharani Gayatri Devi and many Indian and International leads. The life-like replicas along with detailed backdrops and ingenious sets provide an overwhelming yet unique experience. The museum also has a display of the 10 foot long Bullet, Gati Gamini, the signature Rajasthan Tourism Motorbike. For the Museum, Timings are 10:00 AM to 6:30 PM. Combo Ticket price for Indians is INR 400 (Monday - Friday) and INR 500 (Saturday - Sunday). For Foreigners, Combo Ticket costs INR 700.
Samode is located 40kms northwest of Jaipur on Jaipur-Sikar road. The beautiful 475 year old Samode Palace provides a fine example of the Rajput haveli architecture while Samode Bagh offers luxurious tent accommodation. Visitors can experience the rural lifestyle by taking a camel safari through the village and visit local craftsmen.
The Jawahar Kala Kendra, more popularly known as the JKK, is an international institution that focuses on preserving and promoting the different genres of Indian culture and art. Established in Jaipur in the year 1993, the Jawahar Kala Kendra has become a very popular cultural destination in the city. JKK facilitates a lot of artists, artisans, scholars, art-connoisseurs, and visitors to interact with each other. The center portrays the nuances of Indian art and culture, through a number of activities like art exhibitions, theater shows, dance and music recitals, and workshops, helping people observe the intrinsic aspects of Rajasthani and Indian culture. JKK has been built on a theme of the nine planets, or the navgraha concept of Indian astronomy. With six exhibition galleries, dormitories, auditoriums, and an open house theater, the JKK also has its own Shipgram complex that has six huts that represent the rural aspect of the state and are the venue for haat bazaars, festival, and fairs. It also houses the Indian Coffee House, a restaurant very popular among the locals & visitors alike.
One of the most famous spots in Jaipur is the Raj Mandir Cinema. A single-screen experience, done up with a royal and luxurious architecture, the cinema holds a special place in the Pink City. Watching a Hindi movie is an amazing experience at this cinema, and booking your seat in advance is always a good idea. It was established in 1976. An asymmetrical exterior design helps the theater stand apart. Inside, the extravagantly finished roof, grand chandeliers, and a rising staircase next to the lobby lend an old world charm to the place.Located just off MI road, a Jaipur trip cannot be considered complete without a visit to the Raj Mandir.
Sambhar Lake is one of the largest inland salt lake and lies just 70 kms from Jaipur. It is an incredible landscape, almost resembling the Rann of Kutch, Gujarat. Apart from producing a large percentage of India's salt supply - it also an incredible place to spot birds including large flocks of flamingos. The views from the Shakambhari Mata Temple are breathtaking at sunset and one can spend hours in solitude. Another unique aspect is the Saltwork's own railway system built to transfer salt from the pans to the processing unit. A visit to the salt lake and a walk in the Sambhar town is also a must do activity. Devyani Kund, Sharmishtha Sarovar, Salt Museum, Circuit House, etc are also important places to visit in Sambhar. One can also visit religious sites Naraina & Bhairana on the way to Sambhar.
One of the most popular tourist destinations in Jaipur, the Madhvendra Palace was built by Sawai Ram Singh for his nine queens. This double storied palace has nine apartments that are beautifully decorated with flower motifs and mesmerizing murals which elevate the spacious courtyard. Around 15 km from Jaipur city and at a height of 700 feet, this palace probably has the most splendid views of them all.The nine apartments of the queen surround three sides of the palace, while the fourth houses the Maharaja’s living room. With its magnificent views, awe-inspiring wall paintings, and the chance to peek into the heritage and culture of Rajasthan, the Madhvendra Palace more than lives up to its popularity.
Engage in the many activities, tours and adventures that await you in Jaipur. There’s always something to do in Rajasthan.
Jaipur is renowned for its many famous handloom items and crafts. The famous shopping spots are Rajasthali (the Rajasthan Government showroom on MI Road), Johari Bazaar, MI road, Nehru Bazaar, Bapu Bazaar, and stalls at Bari and Choti Chaupurs. The markets are generally closed on Sundays.
Experience the Pink City like never before with our specialised set of comprehensive and detailed tours that take you on an intimate journey through the soul of Jaipur. Discover the hidden gems that this beautiful desert city has to offer as you take in the fascinating stories that make Jaipur what it is today.
When it comes to exploring the beautiful landscape of Rajasthan, ballooning is the way to go. Soar above the vibrant Pushkar festival and treat yourself to the breath-taking views. Enjoy the beauty of India’s ‘Pink City’ and absorb its colours, flavours and sounds as you take in magnificent forts, palaces and bewitching architecture that Jaipur is known for.
When in Jaipur, prepare to be pampered with charming Rajasthani hospitality and feel like royalty. It’s always a pleasant stay in Rajasthan.
Sh. H. M. Gupta, ACP (Dy. Dir.)
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